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GAO Report B-158677 lists the most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests for FY20:
Of the protests resolved on the merits during fiscal year 2020, GAO sustained 15 percent of those protests. Our review shows that the most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests were: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) flawed solicitation; (3) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; and (4) unreasonable past performance evaluation.

ACTION: Final rule was published in the Federal Register/Vol. 86, No 129/Friday, July 9, 2021 starting at p. 36229.

DoD has adopted the service contract reporting process used by other Federal agencies and no longer requires contractor reporting in the Enterprise Contractor Manpower
Reporting Application (ECMRA). This change enables DoD to use the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) to obtain a majority of the information required by 10 U.S.C. 2330a, Procurement of services: tracking of purchases. FPDS does not provide data on the direct labor hours expended and dollar amounts invoiced for contracted services. Therefore, DFARS will require applicable contractors to enter the labor hours and dollar amounts in the System for Award Management (SAM) [See the entity reporting application on SAM], which is the process used by other Federal agencies, in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 4.17.  

The rule requires reporting for only four service acquisition portfolio groups: Logistics management services, equipment-related services, knowledge-based services, and electronics and communications services.  SAM further specifies reporting required for contracts > or = $3M for Service Contracts with any PSC that starts with a letter AND belongs to any of the following Categories in the Government-Wide Category Structure: 1, 2, 3.3, 5, 7.1, 7.2, 7.5, 7.6, 9, 18, and 19.

You may recall the annual Inventory of Contracted Services (ICS) and the recommendation from the 809 panel in Volume 3 under Section 6 which addressed a variety of  compliance topics. Recommendation 90 was to allow DoD to develop a replacement approach to the inventory of contracted services requirement under 10 U.S.C. § 2330a. Here's the streamlined approach, the Inventory for Services Contracts.


​DoDI 5000.74 Change 1 is now available.  This change aligns the Defense Acquisition of Services with the Adaptive Acquisition Framework.  It reorganizes general acquisition policy separately from contracting policy.  Perhaps most significantly, Change 1 removed Section 5, IT Policy which exists in other documents such as DoDI 5000.82, as well as DoDI 8440.01, IT Service Management, and DoDI 8510.01 Risk Management Framework.


Preparing a $50M agency specific IDIQ?  You may need an Analysis of Alternatives to support your business case as mandated by OMB M19-13.

Check out this announcement from the Category Management Community on AoAs.​

Visit the DAU Open Workshops Training Opportunities page for more information.  I've selected a few of the workshops that are available and relevant to services acquisition.

WSA 001 DEVSECOPS for the DoD: Fundamentals 
  - Provides of overview of DevSecOps in the DoD
WSA 002 DEVSECOPS for the DoD: Security Focus
  - Understand and implement automated processes to securely develop and deploy software
WSC 005 Source Selection
  - An overview of the Source Selection Process that provides participants with actionable skills
WSA 004 Cloud Services Workshop
  - An in-depth exploration of cloud services and information to manage and migrate organizations to cloud environments
WSM 022 Intellectual Property/Data Rights (IP/DR) Workshop For FAR-Based Contracts
  - Understand and manage IP/DR in Government contracts

Policy Update

​Check out the blog on this subject.  In the blog I asked for your tools, checklists, best practices.  We can have that conversation here more easily.  Check Defense Pricing and Contracting's page on Contingency Contracting Resources which does have great content to help you with OCS including a link to the Operational Contract Support (OCS) on MIL Connect. OCS Connect has the latest tools, products, guidance, training, and collaboration on OCS.


The Professional Services Council (PSC) 2020 Acquisition Policy Survey continues an 18-year PSC tradition of candid discussion between contractors and government acquisition professionals concerning the most pressing trends and policies in government contracting. While contending with the COVID-19 emergency, procurement officials demonstrated considerable adaptability and flexibility in rising to this challenge. Often, these adaptations revealed underlying needs for smarter acquisition policies across the government.

With the more than 22 government officials surveyed from 10 federal agenices, five themes emerged: Operational resilience through the COVID-19 emergency; Difficulty in maintaining a stable acquisition workforce; Need for budget flexibilities when continuing resolutions are the status quo; data management strategies as critical considerastion in upcoming acquisition polices; and a framework for better industry-government communications.

Download the December 2020 PSC Acquisition Policy Survey.

This link to a new Defense Procurement and Contracting Policy Memo was just added to the policy tab.  A Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoDIG) Summary Report, DODIG-2017-004, titled “Inspections of DoD Facilities and Military Housing and audits of Base Operations and Support Services Contracts” identified challenges associated with: (1) contract documentation and requirements, and (2) oversight of BOSS contracts in contingency environments. Additionally, the DoDIG noted that contractor performance was not properly assessed, contractors were not held accountable for poor performance, and the Department did not receive the best value for money spent on the contracts the DoDIG reviewed. 

DoD contracting officers are reminded that minimum requirements and clauses for performance work statements/statements of work, as well as minimum standards to measure those requirements in the quality assurance surveillance plan, are described in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 11 and Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS) Part 211, “Describing Agency Needs,” FAR Subpart 37.6, “Performance-Based Acquisition,” DFARS 237.102-77, “Acquisition requirements roadmap tool,” DFARS 237.172 “Service contracts surveillance,” and FAR Subpart 46.4 and DFARS Subpart 246.4 “Government Contract Quality Assurance.”

How do you ID and train your workforce performing acquisition functions, including non-acquisition personnel?  Good question as I just posted DoDD 3020.49 to the policy page here on the ACE for Services.  While this directive focuses on Operational Contract Support (OCS), it includes the requirement at 2.9(b) to do just that.

The Secretaries of the Military Departments:
a. Support the planning, orchestration, integration, and synchronization of, and prepare for and execute, OCS during applicable operations in accordance with DoD Instruction 3020.41.
b. Identify and train personnel, both acquisition and non-acquisition, who plan, develop, and monitor contract requirements, oversee contracts and contractors, and ensure drawdown and close-out activities are conducted during applicable operations.

DLA has analyzed the training available and needed for their Functional Services Managers (FSMs).  They have proposed two credentials for FSMs at an entry and more advanced level, based on complexity of acquisitions assigned, to ensure training minimums are maintained.  For more information on FSM credentialling, see the Blog section here on the ACE for Services.  See the DAU Credentials page for available credentials including those for Services Acquisitions. 

What would you propose for training PMs or FSMs for contracted services including OCS?


Mr. Terry Carpenter, program executive officer for NBIS spoke in DAU’s first virtual Hot Topic Forum held Wednesday, May 20. He was featured in the DAU Alumni Association newsletter.  For those unfamiliar, the NBIS is the “Federal wide information technology service which will be used to conduct suitability, security, and credentialing investigations for all Federal civilians, military members, and government contractors.” It is operated and maintained by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency and has been chronicled here on the ACE for Services as this newest defense agency (DCSA) was created. 


ACQ 1650 replaces ACQ 165 which is now closed to new students and will retire (close) at the end of this Fiscal Year for any current students. The Services Acquisition Credential for Acquisition Workforce members (CACQ 002) will use both ACQ 165 and ACQ 1650; ACQ 165 will be valid through FY21 for CACQ 002.

The Terminal Learning Objectives (TLOs) are: TLO - Recognize the role of services acquisitions in building and maintaining the mission capability of the Department of Defense (DoD) and essential elements of successful, best value services acquisitions. TLO - Recognize when DoDI 5000.74 applies. TLO - Identify the positions that establish policies, guidelines, and procedures for acquisitions of contracted services across DoD. TLO - Identify key management roles and responsibilities when acquiring contracted services to support DoD requirements. TLO - Recognize what is accomplished during each phase of the Service Acquisition Process. TLO - Describe services portfolio management, the resulting benefits, the services portfolio management taxonomy, and the roles of key portfolio management participants. TLO - Describe the requirements development, validation, prioritization, and oversight processes, including the role of the Services Requirements Review Board (SRRB), requirements development team, Acquisition Strategy process, peer reviews, independent management reviews, and performance management metrics. TLO - Recognize IT services acquisition requirements related to Clinger-Cohen Act (CCA) compliance, alignment with DoD's Information Enterprise Architectures, enterprise IT services, and IT services management. TLO - Recognize requirements related to cybersecurity, personally identifiable information (PII), cloud computing services, accessibility of IT services, commercial cellular services, and commercial IT.  

To apply for this course see the ACQ 1650 concept card.


What's Category Management (CM)?  It's a little different in the Department of Defense than what you will find on GSA's Acquisition Hallways, or in OMB policy and the Air Force has been making great strides with their CM program.  The DoD's implementation of Category Management (CM) consists of a structured, data-driven business practice whereby the organization broadly and strategically analyzes and manages common categories of spend with an enterprise-wide focus in order to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiencies and enhance mission effectiveness.  Given the Air Force's success, we ought to examin their processes and luckily we can bring you an introduction to CM courtesy of the USAF.  By completing the Introduction to Air Force Category Management, you will learn about the history of CM in the Federal government and US Air Force (USAF), the USAF 4 principles of CM, Roles and Responsibilities, and the 6 Step CM Process.  Upon successful completion, you will receive a certificate awarding you 1 CLP.  Please note, you must complete this training in one session.  Allow yourselft at least an hour to do so.


​Rapid Deployment Training for DoDI 5000.74, Defense Acquisition of Services is now available from DAU's RDT page along with recently released instruction 5000.80 and 5000.81 on Mid Tier Acquisition and Urgent Capabilities, respectively.  Click here for the 5000.74 RDT.


​The first offering of ACQ305 starts March 24-27 2020 at DAU's Fort Belvoir, VA campus; it's available to schedule now in your component's scheduling system.  This new 3.5 Day services acquisition course uses an IT Services scenario, but will help the student to lead or participate on a multi-functional team (MFT) acquiring any service.  The DoD Handbook for the Training and Development of the Services Acquisition Handbook recommends ACQ 305 for Functional Service Managers (FSMs).  In the future, ACQ 305 may be required for the planned FSM credential which would join the two existing services acquisition credentials for MFT members.  


The new DoDI 5000.74 Defense Acquisition of Services was signed today (Jan. 10, 2020). The Adaptive Acquisition Framework, Services pathway was updated and reflects this new issuance.


​GAO recently (Sep 26, 2019) released GAO-19-608, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Could Better Manage Potential Risks of Contractors Performing Inherently Governmental Functions.  Take note of GAO's two recommendations.  First, that contracting officers document their oversight plans for certain contracts and then verify that they're following through with those plans to ensure contractors are not performing inherently governmental functions.  GAO noted the turnover of contracting personnel and thus an empahsis on documenting plans to help the next contracting officer or contracting officer's representative (COR).  


GAO found DOD has identified some of the non-acquisition personnel performing certain acquisition-related duties, but has not made as much progress identifying those involved in services acquisitions.  Additionally, GAO found that DOD also has not comprehensively considered the acquisition-related training needs for non-acquisition personnel.  GAO makes two recommendations that DOD: (1) designate an official responsible for identifying non-acquisition personnel contributing to services acquisitions, and (2) ensure components provide DAU comprehensive information about non-acquisition personnel training needs. DOD concurred with the recommendations.  [GAO-19-556 released Sep. 5, 2019, reissued with revisions on Oct. 2, 2019.]

This session from May 2019 discussed some of the newest acquisition direction coming from Congress (via laws), the President (via executive orders), changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (via Acquisition Circulars) and OSD leaders (via memorandums and regulations). There are so many changes continually being directed that we will Cherry Pick the newest direction that will have real world procedural impacts. In many cases the direction is so new that DoD is still formulating an approach to properly execute the new direction.  Follow the link to obtain a copy of this presentation.

​DAU's new app includes the convenience of push notifications and alert indicators for new content; personalization settings to see only the content you desire; maps and directions to DAU locations which integrate with your device's native capabilities, and offline viewing of content.

The prototype's six modules include:  News, Maps, Training, Info, Resources and Augmented Reality (AR) Maps.


​Critical Initiatives for Streamlined, Rapid, Iterative Acquisition Approaches (85 min.).  HON Alan R. Shaffer, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment keynote address at the 2019 DAU Symposium.


Do you know the Spend Under Management Tiers?  Here are the defininitions, but you may want to check out the SUM ACQuipedia article for more info.​

•Tier 3, Best-in-Class (BIC) Solutions – Spending managed at the Government-wide level through use of BIC solutions that have been identified through a collaborative interagency process by acquisition category experts within the Government as offering the best pricing and terms and conditions within the Federal marketplace and reflecting the strongest contract management practices.

•Tier 2, Multi-Agency Solutions – Dollars obligated on multi-agency contracts that satisfy rigorous standards set for leadership, strategy, data, tools, and metrics.  Although not BIC solutions, they reflect strong contract management practices, including data and information sharing across agencies, and use of cross-agency metrics.

•Tier 1, Mandatory-Use Agency-Wide Solutions – Dollars obligated on agency-wide contracts with mandatory-use or mandatory-consideration policies, along with standards set for data-sharing, including data analysis, information sharing across the agency, and use of metrics that are defined, tracked and publicized.

•Tier 0, Spend NOT Aligned to Category Management Principals.  Tier 0 involves purchasing in a decentralized manner and not conforming to category management principles, including strategic oversight and disciplined consideration of performance data to understand prices paid by other Federal customers or metrics to improve results. Dollars obligated on contracts that do not fit into one of the three tiers above. Agencies should analyze Tier 0 spend to find opportunities for shifting to higher-tier solutions.

GSA's is an initiative to consolidate 10 legacy federal award systems (including the System for Award Management (SAM),  Wage Determinations OnLine (, FBO, FPDS, and CPARS) into a single website.  Currently, the beta site is not the authoritative site (thus the beta).  Once all functionallity from the legacy site is transitioned, will become and the legacy site will be a candidate for decommissioning.  

What's the timeline?  As an example, later in FY2019, will redirect users to to find wage determinations. For more information, please visit or check out this excellent video. (


Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) data has been merged into the Contract Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS). is now the official source for past performance information.

On January 15, 2019, the PPIRS name will no longer be used except in the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Click here <> to read more about the CPARS/PPIRS merger on GSA’s Interact page.


Link provided on a Defense News article of acting Chief Management Officer's inteview.  Identifies Five key initiatives for finding greater savings: category management, buying goods and services differently, IT and business systems, logistics and supply chain acquisition, and healthcare management. ​


DAU's Service Acquisition Mall (SAM), which provides tools and templates to create performance-based service acquisition requirements, has recently received a major update. Below is a summary of what's different in the new release:

·         Completely redesigned navigation--go from process to tools to policy

·         Updated content across the site

·         Embedded links to related DAU training and resources

·         Redesigned user interface

·         Responsive design for use on any device

A familiar tool that used to be exclusively available on SAM, the Acquisition Requirements Roadmap Tool (ARRT), is now available from DAU's tools catalog.  What's new is that you can download the ARRT Suite immediately--no registration and no waiting for an email.  You'll still need a valid DoD certificate to unpack ARRT from its cybersecurity wrapper.  This is explained in the updated help guides for each of the tools that make up the ARRT Suite.  You can still find helpful videos on using ARRT on SAM.


​Section 843 of the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act requires a number of elements affecting the Non-Acquisition Workforce in Services Acquisitions.  One element requires a report on a number of elements.  One of the elements is what additional acquisition training is needed, what the positions are that need the training and what are the challenges in delivering this training.  What do you think?  What's your position and what acquisition training do you need?  What are your challenges in getting this training?


​Find the CEA Overview by following the link in this announcement!


This is a reminder that Military Department, Joint Command, and 4th Estate agency Senior Services Managers shall electronically submit a Services Acquisition Workshop (SAW) five-year forecast to:  and to by 1 October 2018 (and annually thereafter). 

The five-year forecast shall provide the projected number of SAWs for each fiscal year (FY19 to FY23) including requirement names. 

Any additional or more specific information is not required, but would be appreciated.  There is no specific format for the forecast, but using an Excel spreadsheet is recommended.

Please see DPAP Memo dated 20 OCT 2017, which includes the latest thresholds which began in mid-April 2018. 

**Purpose:  This information will be provided to Congress and OSD Senior Leadership including the Reform Management Group (RMG), when requested, and will assist OSD and DAU with planning, tracking and resourcing SAWs.


The GSA Alliant 2 GWAC is now available to use. OMB named Alliant 2 GWAC a Best-in-Class for Information Technology Solutions!  The Effective Date is July 1, 2018. The Period of Performance and Ordering Period is a 5 multiyear base term through June 30, 2023 plus a 5 multiyear option period through June 30, 2028.


​GAO-18-237SP provides data concerning overall protest filings for FY17.  Most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests during FY17 were: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) unreasonable past performance evaluation; (3) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; (4) inadequate documentation of the record; and (5) flawed selection decision.

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